Jellyman, what you wanted to know?
Jellyman you wroted "Since you seem to live in Finland, wouldn't it be better to try to explain the weather in Finland and the kinds of things that are grown there? That might be more interesting to many of us. " What you wanted to know or me to tell, i am trying to tell something about our fruit trees now, but you did not specify any way your request.
Yes i live in Finland. I live in southern Finland, or more accuratelu southwestern Finland. My zone is 7. In year 2008 lowest temperature was -17 Celsius degree, that puts me to zone 7 on that year. I wrote this as you said to one your message to Pennsylvania people in thread "Prunning nee apple tree (Pic)" that write zone in message. Well there it is. I am in low elevation place, as Finland is quite low elevation country. We do not have mountains here in Finland. I am or the weather station in my city is 112 meters above sea level (Which is 367 feet if i remember right). About the same what Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A. is slightly lower. But Charlotte has mountains coming quite fast when moving to west, appalachians i meant.
As you asked what grows here. I have told i locate about as north Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A. But here is big differences about Alaska, and Finland. We have gulf stream, Alaska does not. It keeps us significantly warmer than Alaska (Especially in winter.).
I have read on internet peach variety Red Heaven and Frost have been grow in Finland. Also read Frost have survived 2 winters here, that mesasge was wroted in year 2009 so, probably this means winters 2009 and 2008.
Someone said apples grow in Alaska, does peaches grow there? let' me guess, no. No peaches is growing Alaska, right?
I have grown pear tree here Jellyman. I planted it if i remember right year 1998, so it is 11 years old now in year 2009. It is still live here, if you ask it. My pear is Pyrus Communis and variety is Aunen pÃ¤Ã¤rynÃ¤. I got pear fruits from mine tree this year too :). Also i have said some years before also, but did not wrote down those years.
I do not see winter damage on my pear tree (i think so), Jellyman if you think that. Also my pear tree is self-fertile, so it produce pear fruits without another pear tree or pollinator. If you think where my pear tree is, it is in garden. If you ask did i protect it, no i didn't. It gets snow in winter that protects in winter. No special winter protection during cold time in winter. I put protection to it in autumn, to prevent rabbits to eat it, possible eating. But i have not seen much rabbits to eat my pear tree. It is net around my pear tree during winter, to prevent rabbits to eat my pear tree, it does not protect any way my pear tree from cold (if you think it).
If you ask is mine pear tree fruits edible, yes they are. And i eat them, if you think of it.